By | October 23, 2023
In the Standard this week:
Faculty Contracts: The faculty contracts issues and implications are described below together with a link to a survey. We at the Faculty Senate need your opinion  in order to move forward in the process of addressing this problem. The deadline is Thursday, October 12 at 5pm. 

Senate Meeting: A regular Senate meeting on October 13. You can find the tentative agenda here. Do not forget to RSVP (we will have food).  If you are a Senator who cannot attend the meeting, please name a proxy and shoot me an email.

The special election has been postponed by one week.  You will get information on the ballot in the next Standard.

[email protected] 
Faculty Contracts
Thanks to all the faculty who attended the Special Session of the Senate this past Thursday. Our comments and opinions brought to light different views on the problem with the mistakes in our contracts, and these, in turn, pointed at distinct ways of moving forward.

For those who might be hearing this issue for the first time, here are the facts: 

– At their July meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a 6% salary adjustment for all ACC employees. 

– When the 2023-2024 Academic Year began for full time faculty on Monday August 14, we began working without contracts. Contracts were not available in MyACC, salary information was not available, and there had been no communication from Human Resources to full time faculty about either compensation or contracts.This means faculty were working without a valid contract and not knowing what their salary was.

– On Tuesday, August 15, full time faculty received a message from The Office of Human Resources – Compensation, that contracts would be available by the end of the day August 21. 

– Contracts were first available on Aug 21, 2023

– When contracts were finally available for viewing and signing, there were a few issues.
— First, every contract had a salary adjustment of 7.5% from last year’s salary, instead of the 6% adjustment approved by the Board. The root of this issue comes from an error in constructing the salary table within Workday. Because salary assignments are an automatic process in Workday, an error in this one input document caused all salary amounts for full time faculty in Workday to be overstated. This represents roughly a $1.05 million difference. 
— There were 36 faculty whose contracts had incorrect titles (we have been told these have been already corrected in Workday).
— There were at least 6 faculty assigned to the incorrect supervisor.

– The salaries were corrected in Workday, but the corrections happened before these were publicly announced by the Finance and Administration office on September 21, 2023. (Click here for Neil Vicker’s announcement.)

– Faculty contracts include the following statement: “Typographical errors are subject to correction by the Office of Human Resources and initial placement may require modification as approved by the Associate Vice-President of Human Resources. If such changes occur, the Office of Human Resources shall inform the faculty member in writing.”

– On September 22, 2023, Faculty Senate Officers met with Provost Umphrey and Executive Vice Chancellor Neil Vickers to discuss contract concerns. 

Most faculty received the 6% adjustment prescribed by the Board, so the 7.5% was a true mistake when inputting the salary table information into Workday. The 6% raise includes the step for longevity –  it is not separate from it. While this is a topic the Senate has addressed in the past, and will likely continue to in the future, it is separate and distinct from the current contract issue the Senate is working toward resolving today. 

Other problems were identified during the meeting that need to be addressed separately including, a) the validity of a signed contract, b) the contract terms themselves, c) the process for informing faculty in a timely and transparent manner on issues of compensation, and d) the clarity and ease of access to accurate compensation information, etc.. These are issues we will be working on this semester in collaboration with HR and the Office of Finance and Administration.

No new contracts have been issued, so we are still working under the terms of the ones we signed. To be fair, when we met with Neil Vickers, the EVC of Finance and Administration, we (the Senate Officers) asked him to wait on issuing new contracts, since we wanted to consult the faculty first.  Hence, the survey from last week and the Special Session this week.

To help the Senate arrive at a recommendation to the Administration regarding FT faculty contracts, we need to hear from you once more. A new survey will help us find a path forward and get as many faculty voices involved in the process.  

There are four different options in the survey. Be aware that some of the options will have wider ramifications: 
— Any budgetary changes to address compensation will require board discussion and approval.
— Equity among association groups might become an issue.
— The budget might have to be adjusted and could affect other programs/departments.
— There might be other implications we are not aware of.  

Here is a list of the options discussed at the Special Session and presented in the survey including some considerations:

Option 1: We should honor the first contract provided, since it has been signed already – this contract will equate to a 7.5% salary adjustment instead of the Board’s agreement to a 6% salary adjustment. 

-Recognizes faculty contracts as valid, binding documents that cannot be changed.
-Holds administration accountable.
-Does not allow for contract error to be seen as a ‘typographical’ error, as stipulated in the contract terms.
-Does not provide equitable treatment to other employee groups who were not affected by these errors.
-Does not reflect the agreed-upon 6% adjustment.
-Would require budget changes that may affect other college programs/budgets, given the approximate cost to the college of $1.05 million.

Option 2: We should sign new contracts that reflect the board’s agreement to a 6% salary adjustment instead of the current 7.5% salary adjustment. No budgetary or equity implications. 

-Allows for contract errors to be seen as a ‘typographical,’ stipulated in the contract terms.
-Honors the intent of the Board of Trustees decision in July.
-Supports the College’s established budget.

Option 3: The College should honor the signed contracts for the period of time faculty worked under that contract, which is approximately one month, paid as a stipend. The faculty will sign the second contract that reflects the Board’s approval for a 6% salary adjustment.

-Honors contract as signed by faculty until the correction, and allows for re-issuing new contracts.
-Partly honors the intent of the Board of Trustees while honoring the validity of the signed contracts, until the correction.
-Might impact funding of other budgetary areas, due to a cost of approximately $88,000.
-Might be perceived as inequitable by other employee groups.

 Please take a moment to carefully fill out the survey. 

Here is the link to the survey.  Thank you for participating. 

We will have another discussion at the next Senate meeting on October 13.

I will close the survey Thursday, October 12 at 5pm.

Senate Meeting – October 13
The next Senate meeting is this Friday, October 13 from 12pm to 1:30pm.

– Here is the tentative agenda
– Here is the Zoom link to the meeting
– Please RSVP to see who is attending in-person and who is attending online.  It will also help with food ordering.